Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu has launched ‘Swachh Suvekshan-2017’ to assess and rank 500 cities and towns based on levels of sanitation and efforts made by respective urban local bodies and also to capture the progress towards achieving ‘Open Defecation Free’ status. The Minister also released various publications and mobile applications to help the 500 cities and towns prepare for the survey to be conducted in January next year.
Naidu addressed Mayors, Municipal Chairpersons, Municipal Commissioners and other concerned officials of 500 cities and towns to be surveyed via video conferencing. He informed the city officials that cities will be ranked based on the reports by urban local bodies on the progress made towards construction of toilets, feedback of citizens and independent observation of sanitation levels. Cities with a population of one lakh and above each, heritage and tourism cities and capital cities with less than one lakh population are included in this survey, the second since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Referring to the stress being laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on creating a ‘Jan Andolan’ (mass movement) to ensure ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019, Naidu launched a Web portal ‘Swachhata App’ and ‘Swachhata Helpline 1969’ to enable citizens associate more and more with the Mission in urban areas. Citizens can post photos of unhygienic places in urban areas on the Swachh App and they will be informed of action taken by respective urban local bodies in a specific time period. Using toll free Helpline Number 1969, citizens can seek information about the ways of participating in the cleanliness mission and can also enquire the status of their applications for construction of toilets.